Monday, February 13, 2012

Finding Her (Muse 4: "Sleep Deprived in Saggitarius")

Continued from Muse 3

There's a small candy striped change purse. Not a wallet but a fabric coin purse with a metal clasp. Rick unclasps the top and fondles the coins within. Not US Currency.  Pesos, Colombian pesos, and small blue motion sickness pills set in their foil packet, just two left.  He feels the rolling of the ocean, the smell of oil and engines as the bile rises to his throat. He's feeling seasick as the vision materialises.  


For Marique, leaving Colombia was easy. Deciding where to go much more difficult. Her options however aided by a keen eye and a daring plan. Despite his sexual cruelty, Xavier had high regard for her mother, allowing Marique access to sights rarely seen by those outside his inner circle. Including the location of his funds, the combination to his safe. As a creature of habit, Xavier's movements were predictable. Keeping clear of Lopez gaze somewhat harder. The prick had his remaining eye on her all the time. His hands pointing at her, two fingers forming the barrel of a fleshy gun which he delighted in cocking and emulating putting a bullet in her brain. Had he caught her stealing, she knew he'd kill her, probably rape her first. 

She’s already secreted enough to arrange for a forged passport and identity. Papers here are cheap and access to willing forgers free. Even her escape route has been carefully planned and although she hasn't booked passage, she knows of a ship leaving which will take her far away.  Monique has quickly learned that money buys anything, including an escape route.

The hardest thing of all, not telling her mother. Now drug addled and a shell of her former self, even Candide can't be trusted with the knowledge of her daughter's escape. It breaks Marique's heart to kiss her ailing mother goodnight, the emptiness in her eyes, the sadness in her once beaming smile. She will not see her again.

Now she’s powering through the jungle, a military rucksack on her shoulders and enough stolen cash for a new start tucked beneath her underwear and toothbrush.  A flicker of light appears against the black sea and sky at the very tip of the 10 0metre jetty, her ship has come in. The “Saggitarius” waits, engines muffled to idle as she bustles on board among a boatload of runaways and misfits. All searching for a new life in America. All travelling with dubious papers and passports. All having paid a small fortune for the privilege. 

The journey to Miami takes four days aboard the small steamer. She's nervous, afraid but strangely exhilarated once her seasickness wears off and the little blue pills work their magic. There's something liberating about lying on deck and searching the night sky for the constellation that bears the same name as her freedom ship. 

"Sagittarius!" He points skyward to the darkness littered with shimmer. "It's that one...the one that looks like a teapot," His voice alarming her into a sitting position.

"You startled me..." She moves to stand up.

"Please, don't move on my account. Beautiful night isn't it? Like you, soft and warm and dark." His voice is sultry and gentle with a slight Southern twang.

"I'm Andrew. You going to Miami or getting off in the Bahamas?"

She tells him she's is travelling to Florida. She wants to work, earn enough to set herself up, maybe travel a little. Find a new hope, a new life. He tells her he's a traveller himself on the last leg of a South American Adventure and heading 'home.'

"Where's home?" She asks. 

"For now, Miami. I have a club there, fun, you dance?"

She finds the question a little odd but acquiesces, "I can Salsa does that count?"

"More than you got work in the US?"

She hasn't. She'd planned on domestic labour or working in a factory if her papers stand the scrutiny of customs.

"Stick with me young Marique," he gives her a wink and fondles her hair, "I might be able to help you out."

Without her daughter, Candide has little to live for.  The slave of a power hungry and sexed up General, now ailing and aged, his Lieutenant is taking the reins. Lopez is the new powermonger and waiting for his General's demise. Candide's position of privilege waning, and her addiction burgeoning. She pines, doesn't eat. The lucrative returns from drugs and kidnapping now dominate the rebels' agenda, and largely replace any ideological motivations. She has access to cocaine which numbs her senses and makes her life bearable, while Xavier thrusts and grunts on top of her.  It's no surprise when she's found still and cold, congealed blood around her nose and mouth, the white powder which numbed her has now done so for the last time. Lopez is embittered, "And I never got to fuck the bitch or her daughter."

Rick's pulled out of his daze when his cell phone rings. 

Rick?” Silverman's voice, "How’s it going with the pack? Any insights?”

Well ‘Dorothy’ isn’t in Colombia any more!”

You know where she is?”

Rick isn’t ready to divulge, his affection for the girl on the run becoming less detached. Nor does he know the full story. “Yeah I know where she was, about 2 years ago….not quite where she is.”

Well I got heat burning me right now. I need to find this girl. Morales is drawing a blank other than she fled Colombia and disappeared into the jungle. Get on it.”

Rick hangs up the phone, grabs his mug of coffee and, still wrapped in the towel from his morning shower, stares at the backpack. 

“Time to roll….” He sips the joe and wonders if it’s a Colombian blend.


  1. You've no way of knowing this, but Customs would be the least of her worries, since she has nothing. Immigration would be the hard part.

    - 1st paragraph, Colombian
    - second paragraph: had he caught her stealing?

  2. Ah... hmm... I'm not sure why, but this chapter spun me around and now I'm a bit lost.

    Since when does "Sagittarius" have two Gs?

  3. I hope she hasn't met an American sex slave trader.